Women's Giving Network Grant Funding

Empath Health Women’s Giving Network meets to award grant funding

The Empath Health Women’s Giving Network (WGN) recently joined together for its third annual luncheon meeting to award micro-grants for Empath Health programs and services.

The network of now 26 members awarded their allocated $23,625 to six of the 11 proposed projects presented by Empath Health leadership and staff. These vital dollars are the only source of funding for these projects, which will support patient education, staff and volunteer training and specialized care and comfort services for patients and families.

Annette Carter, MSNPA, CNP serves as the director of philanthropy for Suncoast Hospice Foundation, the financial support arm of Empath Health that oversees the WGN. She led the meeting for the first time this year and shared a message of gratitude with the members.

“You are paying it forward and doing it as a group. We are grateful for you being here and inviting your friends. Thank you so much. We love you,” Carter said.

Funded Projects

Sewing Volunteers

Sewing Volunteers Stillborn Baby Clothing

Sewn pieces for babies

Supplies for sewing volunteers to make comfort items, such as lap blankets, walker bags and activity bibs for patients and tiny caps and clothes for babies who are stillborn.

“Our sewing volunteers have provided 45,000 service hours and donated materials. This is about creating positive memories for families (of stillborn babies) and something they can take home and keep. The goal of the activity bibs is to help keep hands busy for patients with dementia.” – Traci Sutton, Empath Community Health volunteer coordinator

Care Kits

Evidence-based materials to help patients manage their diseases. The focus will be on those with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the top two diagnoses for re-hospitalizations in our region.

“We teach them (patients), give them tools and literature and empower them to manage their disease process. That’s what’s going to help with re-hospitalizations.” – Jeanne Seis, Empath Home Care director

Home Care Disease Management Education Tools Patients

Empath Home Care Director Jeanne Seis presents on care kits

Wound Treatment Associate

Wound Treatment Associate Course Coordinator Program training for a certified wound/ostomy nurse, who will then train up to 100 clinical staff to provide treatment for patients.

“This is an online course for comprehensive, evidence-based care. This program will truly elevate the level of care that we provide to our patients.” – Rachelle Hutchens, a Suncoast Hospice regional program director

Memory/Keepsake Photo Shoots

Little Light of Mine portrait sessions for 12 families with terminally-ill or seriously-ill children in care.

“They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Maybe a picture is worth 1,000 memories. And maybe a picture is priceless. We walk a journey with our children and sometimes our children do die. Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Sara Perszyk, RN, Empath Health Children’s Program staff RN

Women's Giving Network Grant Funding

Members participate in mobile grant voting and selection

Palliative Arts Volunteers

Tools for palliative arts volunteers to provide Reiki education to additional volunteers, allowing them to serve more patients, clients and families.

“Next year marks the 20th anniversary for our palliative arts program. We offer patients more choices for care through alternative therapies that benefit patients.” – Randi Meyer, Empath Health volunteer programs manager

Teen Volunteers

Branded shirts for teen volunteers.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of our teen volunteer program. Last year our teens provided more than 23,000 volunteer hours. These (T-shirts) will help with presence. They (teens) will be noticeable and recognizable.” – Randi Meyer, Empath Health volunteer programs manager

WGN Future

The WGN will move forward with additional development and involvement with the group. They will give feedback through surveys and focus groups, assist with planning and participate in new activities that further connect them to the Empath Health staff, work and mission.

A mission-based, social activity will be planned for September. The presentation of micro-grant reports will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

For more information or to join the Empath Health Women’s Giving Network, contact Annette Carter at AnnetteCarter@EmpathHealth.org or at (727) 523-3414.